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Swiss group Holcim plans to spin off US cement business

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Swiss cement giant Holcim is close to a deal to spin off its North American business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company could announce its plans in the coming days, the people said, adding that the North American business could eventually list in the United States.

Zug-based Holcim is the result of a merger between France's Lafarge and Switzerland's Holcim in 2015, creating the world's largest cement company. Holcim trades with a market capitalization of around CHF 37.2 billion (US$ 43.1 billion).

In its half-year results last year, Holcim said North America would contribute around $12 billion to net sales in 2023, accounting for about 40 percent of the group's total sales.

It added that it is North America's leading cement supplier and a top supplier of commercial flat roofs and concrete. According to its website, the company has approximately 350 locations in 43 states across the U.S. and employs 7,000 people.

Since its own merger nearly a decade ago, Holcim has continued to be active in dealmaking.

In 2022, Holcim agreed to sell its Indian operations to Adani Group for $10.5 billion in cash.

Last year, the group agreed to buy Firestone Building Products from Japan's Bridgestone Corporation for $3.4 billion to strengthen its position in the United States. The deal was intended to make it easier for Holcim to enter the lucrative flat roof market.

European companies have been betting on US listings due to higher valuations, greater market liquidity and analyst coverage.

CRH, the world's largest building materials company, moved its main listing from London to New York last year.

Holcim did not respond to immediate requests for comment. The WSJ first reported on Holcim's plans.